FALLING INTO A VOLCANO

You know it’s going to be a tough day when you fall into a volcano!
If you want to know how to survive when it seems like everything in your life is going wrong – you’ve come to the right place.

It takes a special kind of crazy to ignore warning signs and fences as you climb towards the rim of an active volcano. But just a few days ago, a tourist seeking what he thought would be the ultimate selfie did just that. The man from Maryland had to be rescued out of the mouth of Mount Vesuvius. After dropping his mobile phone into the volcano while taking a selfie, our intrepid photographer then managed to fall in himself as he attempted to retrieve it. He slipped, fell several meters into the crater, struck his head, knocked himself out and got stuck (thankfully) in a small crevasse only a few feet away from a 1,000 foot drop into Vesuvius that would have been certain death. Unconscious and slowly suffocating in sulphur-laden air, he was rescued by local guides and officials and survived.

Well, you don’t need to have fallen into a volcano to feel like your life has become a hot mess. What can you do when you’re having a tough time figuring out how to get out of the hole you’ve fallen into?

Today’s verse says BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD.

Whatever the mess you find yourself in today – whether you’re the cause of it or merely a victim – the fact is that God has the answer for you. His word has clear instructions that address every situation in our lives. You may not know where to look and find those instructions, but being willing to ask for help is often one of the first steps out of the hole. But no matter who you are or what situation you find yourself in this morning, God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life. It’s a plan to bless you, and to bring you into a great and vibrant relationship with Him.

Of course, the first thing to do when you find yourself stuck in a hole is to STOP DIGGING !!

If your behavior or choices had a role in getting you into the mess, you need to ask God to help you make the right choices to begin getting out of it. He is gracious and kind, always willing to forgive us our sins and draw us back to Him. But He will not force you, because love is always a choice. So is obedience, by the way.

I know someone who is trapped in a self-destructive cycle of addiction. He’s been offered a comfortable and safe place to live, and help overcoming his addiction; but he prefers to remain indigent (and regularly homeless). He doesn’t want to submit to the regular drug screenings that are part of the program, even though he insists he’s “clean” and not doing any drugs. He’s been offered help with his legal issues, but he won’t accept it; so his fines and problems continue to mount up higher. He’s continuing to dig his own hole.

The answer to turning our lives around – for him, for you and for me – is to TRUST IN THE LORD and believe what He says. We don’t have the answers. That is obvious. The surest path to victory, freedom and a changed life is to TRUST IN THE LORD with all our heart; and not lean on our own understanding. If you haven’t figured out the mess you’re in yet, it’s time to look to a different source for wisdom and help. When we acknowledge Him in all our ways and obey His instruction, He will straighten out our lives.

When we make the decision to put our trust in Him, He drives fear far from us and exchanges it with His peace. And with His peace we can begin to find joy. That’s why the Apostle Paul wrote “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” He’s the GOD OF HOPE and He fills us with His Holy Spirit so that we can ABOUND IN HOPE. When you’re in the middle of a mess that appears hopeless, you need the GOD OF HOPE to step in.

Do you know what comes from His hope and joy? His strength !!!

Your fear is replaced with your trust in Him. The more you are able to TRUST IN THE LORD the less your life can be controlled by fear. That’s because His love for you is perfect, and perfect love casts out fear. But just like the unconscious tourist, you’re not in a position to save yourself. Turning to Him and obeying His word puts you in the perfect place to receive His blessing and strength. You’ll find out that His word is true. Like King David, you’ll be able to say, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.”

I don’t know what YOUR specific situation is today. I don’t know if the greatest issues facing your life are moral, legal, physical or financial. In fact, I don’t really know anything about most of the people who join me for Mornings with Bishop Robert. But there is ONE THING that I do know – and it makes all the difference. Here it is:

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD

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